How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Car?

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Just like how gas prices fluctuate all over the country, the price you pay to charge your electric vehicle (EV) varies. Things get even more complex since there are multiple ways to recharge your battery. So, how much does it cost to charge an electric car?

How Much Does It Cost to Charge at a Public Station?

Charging an EV at a public station usually only costs a few bucks. You pay anywhere from $5 to $30 for a complete recharge. However, the price tag is tied to the cost of electricity and the station you use, so it changes depending on your location. Make sure you check the electricity rate for each state if you plan on taking a road trip.

Many electric cars can go over 400 miles on a single charge, so you won’t have to spend money often. Still, it’s a good idea to find all of the nearby public stations and plan your route ahead of time. If you strategize, you can always find the best deal when your battery runs dry.

Since there are over 138,000 public charging stations in the United States as of May 2023, you should have no problem finding plenty near you. Even though they might offer the same prices if they’re in the same area, you might be able to catch deals, promotions or loyalty rewards. 

How Much Does It Cost to Charge at Home?

The cost of recharging your electric car at home changes depending on where you live. Although that seems like a non-answer, it’s the truth. Luckily, there’s a handy formula to calculate how much you pay. We’ll use the specs of an average EV to walk you through it.

If you multiply your battery’s kWh capacity by your cost per kWh, you can see how much it would cost to recharge your car completely. You can find those numbers in your owner’s manual and on your most recent electric bill. From there, finding your exact cost is as easy as doing a little multiplication.

In the United States, the electricity cost is $0.17 per kWh on average. Most states stick close to that number, but it varies. For instance, Hawaii can get up to $0.40 per kWh while Washington stays below average at $0.12 per kWh. On average, how much does it cost to charge an electric car at home? It will cost $7.65 for an EV with a standard 45 kWh battery capacity.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge at a Supercharger?

Charging your electric car with a Supercharger costs more than most other options. It can almost completely refuel a Tesla in only 15 to 30 minutes — it’s way better than waiting for hours at a public station. Unsurprisingly, the trade-off is that it’s way more expensive. 

So, how much does it cost to charge an electric car at a Tesla Supercharger? You pay between $0.25 and $0.50 per kWh — a much higher price than the average $0.17 per kWh. If your battery gets 54 kWh, you spend around $5 to $18 extra for a faster charge. It’s useful in a pinch, but you have much more affordable options at your disposal.

You might even run into fees on top of the regular charging costs. If you leave your car plugged in when the battery is full, the station automatically charges you every 60 seconds. In the United States, you pay $1.00 per minute when the station is at 100% capacity and $0.50 per minute when it’s at 50% capacity. If you want to spend less, be mindful of the time.

How Do Recharging and Refueling Prices Compare?

It’s a lot more affordable to recharge than it is to refuel. Even though there are plenty of fuel-efficient gas vehicles, you just can’t beat the sweet, low price of electricity. You’ll save hundreds of dollars every year when cruising with an EV.

The median gas price is $3.95 per gallon in the United States. Since most tanks can hold around 14 gallons, refueling should cost over $55 for the average guy. Since we already established it only costs up to $30 to recharge an EV, you can see how quickly the difference stacks over time. 

Fuel efficiency muddies the waters since it makes costs add up wildly differently over time. Still, cars with combustion engines are almost always more expensive to drive than ones with batteries. So, how much does it cost to fuel an electric car compared to a gas vehicle? On average, you save $25 per recharge.

Are There Ways to Save Money on Recharging?

Yes, there are ways to save money on recharging. Instead of using a Tesla Supercharger, use a public station or charge at home. Wait to plug your car in until “off-hours” when utilities are cheaper if you live in a state with high electricity prices. You can use solar panels to get free power if you’re a self-sufficient guy. 

You can also improve your car’s kWh consumption efficiency to make it cost less to drive. It’s similar to how vehicles with great gas mileage are cheaper to use. You get around 200 miles on a standard EV since they travel three to four miles per kWh on average. Increasing how long they can go in between charges means you spend less over time. 

Most use a lithium-ion battery, which prefers a specific recharging method. To get the most out of a single charge, keep it between 20% and 80% most of the time. Letting it get all the way to 100% or 0% can wear it down faster and shorten the time between charges — making you spend more.

Electric Is the Way to Go

How much does it cost to charge an electric car? Less than it does to refuel with gas — no matter which way you look at it, EVs are more cost-efficient. If you put in the extra effort and take care of your battery, you’ll be spending the minimum while getting the maximum enjoyment out of cruising down the highway.